Switzerland is a great destination for getting a higher education, with Swiss universities being a preferred choice for many international students. In 2017, a Federal Council report stated that about 19% of all university-level students came from other countries. But the question is that once you’ve finished your study in Switzerland, how do you stay back? The rules are different for different nationals. Non-EU students are allowed to stay in Switzerland for six months after graduating to try and look for a job in their field – but they need to get a residency permit first. While they are looking for a permanent job on their residency permit, they are only allowed to work for a maximum of 15 hours per week.
If a NON-EU student finds a job after graduating, they will need a work permit to be able to live and work in Switzerland. Employers then need to apply for a Swiss Work Visa for them. The Swiss government releases a limited number of permit quotas every year – each canton (or administrative region – there are 26 cantons) is given a certain number of these quotas.
For EU/EFTA nationals, the rules are a little different. They don’t need to get a residency permit while looking for a job and are allowed to live and work in Switzerland for up to 90 days even if they don’t have work permits.
Jobs are not easy to find if you are an international student. However, your chances do increase if you are highly qualified graduate from a Swiss university, especially if you have a degree in one of the areas where there is a skills gap – like tech, finance and IT.